Cell phone use still in question

By Robin Fornoff

rfornoff@cnjonline.com

Plateau has released cell phone records an attorney says are connected to Clovis police Officer Adriana Munoz, but whether she used the phone remains unknown.

Attorney Dan Lindsey says records subpoenaed from Plateau prove Munoz was talking on a cell phone when she nearly hit his client while driving.

Munoz’s ex-husband, Steve Woods, however, answered the phone in question on Friday, said it’s his phone and Munoz “never” uses it.

Lindsey made his allegations against the officer Friday in a press release.

Calls to Munoz and Chief Steve Sanders weren’t immediately returned. City Manager Joe Thomas declined comment, citing pending litigation.

Lindsey’s client, Clovis businessman Abby Parrish, filed a lawsuit in District Court against Munoz in connection with the Aug. 14 incident.

Parrish said Munoz ran him off the road around 6:20 a.m. near Sandia School because she was talking on a cell phone and not paying attention.

Munoz was on her way to a 6:30 a.m. briefing at the police department, according to an internal investigation. Munoz acknowledged to investigators she nearly collided with Parrish, but said she was clearing a fogged windshield and wasn’t on the phone.

Sanders said Munoz voluntarily submitted her cell phone and investigators could find only one call, about 30 minutes after the incident with Parrish.

Lindsey said records he subpoenaed from Plateau show calls at 6:22 a.m. and 6:25 a.m. on a phone he believes Munoz has used recently. Lindsey told District Judge Fred Van Soelen at an Oct. 25 hearing that another of his clients had received texts from Munoz from the same cell phone number.

Woods, however, answered a CNJ call to the cell number on Friday and said he placed the 6:22 a.m. and 6:25 a.m. calls to his insurance carrier, Progressive Insurance.

“This is my phone, not hers,” Woods said.

“It’s just too much of a coincidence,” Lindsey said. “He places these calls at about the same time she is running my client off the road? There’s no way.”

Lindsey said he now plans to file subpoenas against Progressive Insurance for recordings of the two calls.

No date has been set for a hearing on Parrish’s lawsuit. He is asking Van Soelen to order Munoz complete a safe driving course and award him attorney fees.

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